Tag Archives: Osama Bin Laden

War and Remembrance: The Legacy of George W. Bush

I am glad that Osama bin Laden is dead  His murder was justice for all that he murdered on 9/11 and his own Muslim brothers.  Still I can not celebrate.  As I watched on Sunday night, I was taken by the lack of understanding of what has occurred in this country, and what we have done to others.  To celebrate tarnishes the memory of all the soldiers, on both sides, who have died or are wounded.  A blemish on the victims of 9/11.  We should never celebrate killing.  Instead, we should mourn the dead and celebrate the living.  On both sides.

I can’t help but think; we are the public spaces for mourning the mounting toll of today’s wars? Where is that feeling in our soul of never again?  We have public places for remembering the soldiers of WWII and Viet Nam.  We can visit Arlington National Cemetery and the Wall and remember the dead.  But the wars of the last ten years, where are those places?  I visited Epinol National Cemetery in France, where my uncle is buried, and you can see forever the soldiers on both sides buried there.  I remembered, I did not celebrate.

Our children, their children were sent to war for “freedom”, “democracy”, or “God”.  They bought into the idea that the war was righteous.  They and we never considered at the time that we were lied to.  It was a simple case of revenge.  Revenge is best served cold, or with revenge you must first dig two graves  We have done that one thousand times over.  We still havent’ learned  We still insist on death.

I have been thinking about the invasion of Iraq  President George W. and his good old boys were jumping at the bit to remove Saddam Hussein from power.  Since 1991 when George the 1st didn’t finish the job.  September 11, 2001 was an excuse for George W. even though there was no connection whatever between the hijackers, mainly Saudis, and Saddam Hussein’s regime.  He was determined to set men free.  No interest at all in capturing and bringing to justice bin Laden.  Set men free, bring democracy to Iraq and therefore peace to the Middle East.  We all know how that turned out.

A by-product that still remains in full force in this country is the Rape of the Bill of Rights.  We let them give us The Patriot Act.  Shrub promised freedom and democracy to the Middle East, while at the same time stealing ours away .  The military-industrial complex has all power now.  The Bill of Rights raped in the name of freedom and security.  We are becoming what we set out to defeat.  Barry Goldwater said: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice”.  I wonder what Goldwater would say now?  I wonder what he would think or say about what the Tea Party assault on women.  I know what he said long ago: “A lot of so-called conservatives today don’t know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not the up to the pope or some do-gooders on the religious right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.”

So we should not be celebrating.  Justice has been done.  Still, the fight is not over.  I want my country back.  One day, without a doubt, the dead from today’s wars will be seen with a similar sense of sorrow at useless and needless loss and foolishness as those millions of men who lie in the cemeteries of France and America — and tens of millions of Americans will feel a similar revulsion for the politicians and generals who were so wasteful with other’s lives.  I just wonder what it will take for us to come to that point.

I want my country back.  I want my rights restored.  That can only be done by us.  We are the only ones who can win the war at home.


Democracy Needs a Bailout

The first thing I ever learned about politics was never to let anyone else define what you believe, or what you are for or against.  I think for myself.

I am no “you liberals” or “you people on the left who always…” I have a name, and I can speak for myself, thank you.  I don’t need Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Pam Geller, Newt Gingrich or Karl Rove, Teabaggers, the Christian Right or Right-wing Republicans to tell me what I believe.

Setting up a straw man, calling it liberal and then knocking it down has become a favorite form of “argument” for those on the right. Make some ridiculous claim about what “liberals” think, and then demonstrate how silly it is.  Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and many other right-wing ravers never seem to get tired of this old game. If I had a nickel for every idiotic thing I have ever heard those on the right claim “liberals” believe, I’d be richer than Bill Gates.

It has been tried before.  During the Viet Nam war, they told me I was unpatriotic for opposing the war.  Now they are saying the same thing.  Only the war they speak of exists in their worm-eaten brains.  Islamophobia is their great war.  Burning a Quran was the latest act of ignorance of these lunatics.  They have no respect for human life.  What was their expectation in this burning?  Fame?  Publicity?  Christian religion is the only religion? They now have blood on their hands, and they feel no guilt at all.  They try to make me believe this was an act of stopping violence against us here.  They want me to believe that it was an act of patriotism. They want me to believe Muslims are trespassing in America. They want me to believe that I am stupid. Stupid as they are.

Since I have a name and I can speak for myself, I’ll tell you exactly why I opposed invading Iraq: because I thought it would be bad for this country, our country, my country. I opposed the invasion out of patriotism, and that is the reason I continue to oppose it today — I think it is bad for us. I think it has done nothing but harm to the United States of America. I think we have created more terrorists than we faced to start with and that our good name has been sullied all over the world. I think we have alienated our allies and have killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein ever did.  This last act of patriotism by Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters was simply throwing more gasoline on an already lit fire.  This was act done in the name of God.

I did not oppose the war because I like Saddam Hussein.  He was a miserable s.o.b back in the ’80s, when our government was sending him arms.  We created him.

I did not oppose the war because I am soft on terrorists or didn’t want to get Osama bin Laden. To the contrary, I thought it would be much more useful to get bin Laden than to invade Iraq — which, once again, had nothing to do with 9-11. I believe the case now stands that the Bush administration used 9-11 as a handy excuse to invade Iraq, which it already wanted to do for other reasons.  The Right is doing the same thing now.  They are Muslimcides.  They want them all dead, good or bad.

It is one thing for a political knife-fighters like, Rove, Geller, Gaffney and others to impugn the patriotism of people who disagree with them: We have seen this same lunatic fringe tactic before just as we have seen republicans use 9-11 for political purposes again and again. But how many times are the media going to let them get away with it? How long are the Democrats going to remain silent? When are they going to stand up and fight?

The actions of the Republicans on the state and federal level has threatened democracy in this country. The first furious assault on the patriotism of Democrats came right after the 9-11 commission learned President Bush had received a clear warning in August 2001 that bin Laden was planning a hijacking.

They believe that we live in the land of Oz, and like the scarecrow, we are all in need of brains.  They want us brainless.  That is how they succeed.

Democracy needs a bailout and it needs it now.

Happy Birthday Ronald Reagan: The Conservative Hero

Hail the conquering hero of tax cuts, small government, balanced budgets, and lower deficits.  They gather this weekend to sing his praises.  He is the patron saint of conservatives. Envoke his name and America is better.  Republicans and Conservative perpetuate the myth everyday.  Boehner will cry and Palin will sing his tax cut song.  Their view is that is if you raise taxes you lack the competence and the will to govern.    It is a myth.  They are in denial.

1.  Reagan raised taxes:  He raised them 11 times.  In fact, he raised taxes 7 of his 8 years in office. Including 4 times in two years.  Priest of tax cuts is a false mythology.  According to Conservatives that makes him incompetent.

2. The Federal Budget deficit tripled. It increased by $3 billion . Just about three times as much as the first 80 years of the century His first year, he enacted a massive tax cut, government revenue dropped like a rock, and the government went deeper and deeper into debt.

3.  In 1983 he agreed to a $165 billion bailout of Social Security after trying to privatize it.  This is after pushing to cut Social Security benefits.  He also increased and expanded the Pentagon budget.  Bailout imagine that. 

4.  unemployment soared after the Reagan tax cuts of 1981. It rose to 10.8 percent after his great tax cut.  It was a myth that Reagan presided over an era of unmatched economic growth for all Americans, Reagan disproportionately taxed the poor and the middle class. Since 1980 the median household income has risen only 30 percent, adjusted for inflation, while average incomes at the top have tripled. 

5.  Reagan grew the size of the federal government.  He promised to move fast, boldly and decisively to control the out of control growth of the federal government. But federal spending went out of the universe under Reagan. He promised to cut government agencies such as the Department of Energy and Education but in the end he added one of the biggest – the Department of Veterans Affairs, which as of today has a budget of $90 billion and nearly 300,000 employees.   So much for small government. 

6. Reagan gave amnesty to 3 million undocumented [illegal] immigrants. He signed into law a bill that made any immigrant who had entered the country before 1982 eligible for amnesty. It was billed a crackdown, but the tough sanctions on employers who hired illegal immigrants were removed before final passage. It helped 3 million people and millions more family members gain American residency.  It is a major embarrassment for conservatives.

7. Reagan sold arms to Iran. It was the Iran-Contral scandal, a huge political scandal and officials resigned. 

8.  Reagan helped create the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden.  Regan fought a proxy war with the Soviet Union by training, equipping, arming and funding Islamist mujahidin fighters in Afghanistan He sent billions of dollars, along with top-secret intelligence and weaponry to these fighters through the Pakistan intel service. The Taliban and Osama Bin Laden – a prominent mujahidin commander – emerged from these mujahidin groups Reagan helped create. US. policy towards Pakistan continues to remain strained because of the intelligence services’ close ties to these fighters. Reagan’s decision to go on with the proxy was after the Russians were willing to retreat played a direct role in Bin Laden’s ascendency.

These facts are for the most part lost as the right has enshrined Reagan as its patron saint. Conservatives seem to be in denial about the unflattering parts and policies of Reagan. They really don’t know the truth of his legacy. 

This myth has led us to the political situation we have now.  They are in denial and continue to tell the same lies. Will a Republican or Conservative have the courage to stand up and begin to govern? Will they hold that party line or will they continue down the path of good intentions.  As we all know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Have they sold their souls to the teabaggers? Will they remember who they work for, or is the party more important than the people. 

The image of Ronald Reagan as savior is myth. It was created to untie the many parts of the right behind one leader. It was a fractured party then. It is even more so now. 

There is hope if the people begin to hold Republicans and Democrats feet to the fire.  Hope is a good thing.  In this case hope will only work if the conservatives and republicans leave the myth behind and admit the truth.  Something thus far they are unable and unwilling to do.